Mobile Marketing Agency MobileStorm Lands Series A
By Tomio Geron 10/31/2007

Mobile marketing agency mobileStorm has received a Series A round of funding from sole investor eonBusiness.

The amount of financing was not released, but Centennial, Colo.-based eonBusiness normally invests between $250,000 and $1 million in companies, said eonBusiness Chief Executive Dave Carlson. The deal closed about two weeks ago.

Los Angeles-based mobileStorm provides marketing to small and medium-sized businesses via email, mobile voice and text messages, and RSS. Small companies can sign up and operate their marketing on the Web, while mobileStorm does direct sales to larger customers. Clients include Qantas Airways Ltd., CKE Restaurants Inc.’s Carl’s Jr., and Squaw Valley Ski Corp.

Founded in 1999, mobileStorm will use the funding to expand in San Francisco and Los Angeles, growing its total staff from about 30 to 50 employees. It will also increase its marketing and research and development team, said mobileStorm CEO Jared Reitzin.

MobileStorm has been expanding the uses of the mobile platform. In June it announced a deal with MGM Grand Las Vegas that allows people to make reservations via text message for the casino’s nightclubs. “It’s not a substitution; mobile marketing is an enhancement to channels marketers are currently using,” Reitzin said.

Reitzin sees many possibilities, such as notifying hotel guests of their $15 free casino slot money or that their room or valet parking is ready.

And while not as sexy, direct email marketing also brings in cash with a low cost of entry. Such marketing in the U.S. is expected to grow about one-quarter from 2007 to about $600 million in 2008, according to a report released Tuesday by eMarketer.

EonBusiness, founded in 1997, focuses on early-stage funding in the gap between the traditional angel and Series A rounds. Earlier this month, the company announced investments in news and blog sharing Web site madKast, and social network aggregator Socialthing. Past investments include search marketing firm Go Toast and eonMedia, which were both acquired by aQuantive in 2003.